One of our favorite features of the apartment was the view. From the kitchen, and living/dining area where we spent the majority of the time, we could almost touch the ruins of the medieval Cluny Museum. Beyond the ruins we could see famous Notre Dame church to our right. Glancing to the left, on a clear day, we could distinguish La Samaritaine department store and beyond it the wedding cake structure of the Sacre Couer. The two-bedroom apartment was on the fifth floor a 17 century building just a few steps away from the well known Boulevard St. Michel (or “Boul Mich” as the Parisians refer to it).
Inside, the apartment had antique wood and tile floors, two small bedrooms and a bath room between them, a kitchen which opened to the living/dining area, a narrow balcony and lots of windows. The windows were a blessing, funneling light (and sometimes the cold) indoors and making our small space seems larger and quietly appealing. It was cold enough that we had to buy an electric space heater and risk paying extra for the electricity.
We enjoyed our time at Rue des Ecoles. We liked the renovated interior, including a modern bathroom with a large American style shower/bathtub and a washer and dryer; the modernized kitchen (though we sorely missed having a dishwasher), cordless phone and high speed Internet connection. Having a landlady (and her French boyfriend) whose spoke English and French fluently and understood American and Anglophone customs was an added bonus that made our interaction and discussions easier and much more pleasant than those we had with Parisian agency representatives. We loved the cozy ambiance, clean, contemporary style and excellent view of this two-bedroom Parisian apartment a short walk away from the Latin Quarter.
Heating The living/dining area had heating provided by the building’s heaters. Bedrooms had wall mounted electric heaters. We were warned repeatedly that if the electric bill was “higher than average” we would be charged for excess electricity; and encouraged to use the heaters sparingly and only at night. The living/dining area would be chilly often. When that happened we would turn on the space heater we purchased. There was no surcharge when we checked out.
Located The apartment is in the fifth arrondissement of Paris near the Sorbonne University, just south of the Seine river and on the edge of the famous Latin Quarter. The nearest metro stations are Luxembourg, St. Michel or Cluny La Sorbonne
Managed Erica Berman
Owned Although we were unable to find out who owned the apartment, the Erica Berman, young woman who rented it to us, told us she leased it from the owner.
Phone One cordless Siemens phone was available with a phone company voicemail service which we could only operate from the apartment. Outgoing calls were limited to local calls. No long distance, toll or cell phone calls were possible from that phone. To take advantage of our call back service we had to use our cell phone or computer access to trigger calls. To communicate with each other outside the house we had to get cell phones for each of us since we could never place a cell phone call from the phone at the apartment. To reach the apartment manager on her cell phone (if she wasn’t at home) we had to call from our cell phone. “More than average” calls resulted in surcharges.
Size 700 square foot two bedroom apartment
The tiled modern kitchen had an open design blending into the living and dining area. A wood countertop provided an informal eating surface (we noticed folded counter stools by the entrance). There was a double stainless steel sink, refrigerator/freezer (refrigerator on the top and freezer below), electric stovetop and oven with extraction fan, cutlery, glasses, dinnerware, pots and pans and water boiling appliance. There was an antique French butchery/deli sign adorning the wall and a large covered metal garbage can in the center.
Frameless black and grey paintings peppered the walls in various parts of the apartment. An extra large mirror with a wood frame hung in the hallway near the entrance. Another extra large mirror hung in the living room behind the loveseat. We especially liked the charming antique wood floors, vertical wood beams and excellent north facing view including the Cluny Museum, Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur church in the distance.
Bedrooms The first bedroom had a trundle bed and a built-in closet with a cover in place of a door, a small wood dresser and mirror. The second bedroom had wood floor, a queen bed, a built-in closet with an antique wood door, a small wood table, two lamps and a dresser in the space adjacent to the bathroom, and a recessed light in a cubby hole. Both bedrooms had electric heaters mounted on the wall. There were dressers in the bedrooms and a the second bedroom also had small wood table and upright lamp. There was also a small mirror and two large paintings.
Dealing with Erica, the American sounding landlady who subleased the apartment from the owner, was pleasant. Her boyfriend, Alain was friendly, polite and very helpful. We were taken aback by the non-fundable deposit, half of the total rental, required to reserve the apartment months ahead of time. The terms of the agreement also required non-refundable full payment, in U.S. dollars thankfully, two months before the rental period. One bad experience had made us skittish and we wondered ever since we prepaid for the entire rental period if everything would be in order when we arrived. Being able to speak with someone who understood English readily and easily was helpful during those times when something went wrong. We were forced to contact Erica and Alain when the washing machine broke down, the dryer broke down or a lamp short circuited and tripped the breaker and each time they responded to the call quickly and efficiently. In the end it all worked out.